If you changed your name after a recent marriage or divorce, the IRS reminds you to take the necessary steps to ensure the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration. A mismatch between the name shown on your tax return and the SSA records can cause problems in the processing of your return and may even delay your refund.
Here are five tips from the IRS for recently married or divorced taxpayers who have a name change.
1.. When newlyweds file a tax return using their new last names, IRS computers can’t match the new name with their Social Security number. So make sure you change your name with the Social Security Administration.
2. When newly divorced people take back their maiden name, IRS computers can’t match the new name with their Social Security Number. So make sure you change your name with the Social Security Administration.
3. Adopted children need to update their names with Social Security Administration too If you adopted a child who doesn’t have a SSN, you can apply for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number – or ATIN – by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions with the IRS. The ATIN is a temporary number used in place of an SSN on the tax return.
Informing the Social Security Administration of a name change is easy. Simply file a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, at your local SSA office or by mail and provide a recently issued document as proof of your legal name change. Form SS-5 is available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/, or by calling 800-772-1213 or at your local office. Your new card will have the same number as your previous card, but will show your new name.